Monday, April 11, 2011

Ward of the Week goes to Normanton in Derby

Last week I wrote about Ashley Waterhouse, a Tory candidate in Derby City Council's Normanton ward, rang the city's BBC local radio station under a false name to take part in a phone in on honesty in politics.

Today a reader kindly sent me a link to a story about a Labour candidate in the same ward who has admitted that he was once jailed for a drug offence. That story is in the Derby Telegraph and you can also here the Labour candidate, Balbir Sandhu, interviewed on BBC Radio Derby (at about 7:15 a.m.)

I suspect that reader intended to demonstrate that Labour are as bad or worse than the Tories, at least in this corner of Derby, but the picture is not so clear. Because Sandhu's conviction took place 27 years ago and he appears to have owned up to it quite freely.

Is someone with such a conviction fit to be a councillor? Ultimately that is up to the people of Normanton, but if the circumstances are as reported in the Derby Telegraph I would not rule the idea out.

So I cannot agree with the Liberal Democrat candidate who is quoted as saying:
"If we are talking about honesty in politics, the whole point is to clean up politics. I believe that anyone convicted of a serious crime should not have the opportunity to represent the people of our city. The candidate should immediately stand down.


Anonymous said...

Normanton always was a bit rough. Maybe a drugs conviction is now a pre-requisite of residency? I must say that I had no idea that it was a conflict zone though.

Jonathan Calder said...

I have unsportingly corrected the typo.

oneexwidow said...

Just as there should be no blanket ban on prisoners having right to vote, I don't believe there should be a blanket ban on people with past or spent convictions on standing for public office.

Such an approach doesn't strike me as either Liberal or Democratic.

Gawain said...

If we exclude anyone with any conviction; that's one in three males. Sounds unduly limiting.